Message From the President
Our bar association was founded on principles of fairness, equality and equal access to the legal profession. Our founders understood that a lawyer’s primary responsibility was to be a change agent and not a follower. Our legal pioneers set a standard in Florida every African American lawyer should strive to learn and duplicate. As your 2016-2017 president, my administration is dedicated to arouse the spirit of this body energized by the actions of our founders. We have come a long way but still have many mountains to climb. It has been 46 years since George Allen’s law suit against the Broward County School Board earnestly desegrated Broward County’s public schools. Nevertheless, many black students don’t make it to college let alone law school because public education is still separate and unequal and unnecessary juvenile incarceration of black students in the juvenile justice system compounds the problem. Thus equally important is this administrations goals to support the Fort Lauderdale NAACP chapter president Marsha Ellison with decreasing minority juvenile incarceration. Reversing the “School to Prison Pipeline” will increase African American law school admission rates. Furthermore, from our membership came black jurist such as Judge Thomas J. Reddick, Congressman Hastings, Zebedee Wright and Henry Latimer who exhibited the professionalism and character on the bench which proves why diversity on the bench is paramount. Yet, in 2016 Broward County, has roughly the same number of black circuit judges on the bench as it did in 1979. In closing, as your president I am honored to be your representative and your voice. Whether you are a pioneer like Raleigh Rawls the first African American from Broward County to pass the Florida bar or you just passed the bar exam your voice matters. We will continue to rise to the occasion and set a high standard for this Association, thank you and God bless. George Odom Jr. Esq.